Hubby has attached the oak veneer to the cabinets but in the process he discovered that a few of them were "blown out" (my words, not his) and we had to add some 2" x 2" pieces to shore them up. The edges were falling apart. We really can't afford new cabinets right at this time so we'll lose a few square inches inside the cabinets and salvage them. It's not pretty but it works, for now.
The veneer was a giant pain in the butt. I do NOT recommend it. There is literally no other way to attach solid oak veneer to 29 year old MDF cabinets other than to use liquid nail. It was terribly difficult for the veneer to hold and sometimes it took two solid attempts to get one piece of wood up. The secret is to sand the contact paper off the MDF or rough it up. Spread the liquid nail over the panel and clamp the living heck out of it.
I really like the open space left where the oversized microwave cabinet was and so have decided not to install cereal shelves there. I am keeping it open. It really looks lovely.
Another dilemma was the grill fan. It literally served no function. The fan went to nowhere! So, grease, grime, dirt and decay were just sucked up and remained lingering with no access and no way to clean them. Disgusting and useless.
We aren't investing in a vent to the outside right now, nor do I think we need one. The kitchen window is so near the stove and we hardly ever have greasy yucky food that needs venting. We mostly eat out of our garden in the summer and pantry in the winter. We have decided, after cleaning up the grease, to run the wiring from the grill fan behind an oak panel. Hubby cut a hole in the solid beam just big enough to pass the wire through since it was previously hiding behind a plywood makeshift spice rack.
So, the bottom line is where the paneling will end. The top is where it will begin. Then, we're going to put some oak shelves in for spices. Finally, a place where spices won't constantly be falling on me when I reach for them. Yay!